Manufacturers in the Cambridgeshire city of Peterborough are experiencing a rise in customers looking to restocking their inventories after the dip in buying during and after the recession.
Mark Smith, relationship director, Barclays Corporate, Peterborough said that there had been an “improved output against a much more efficient and improved cost base, following rationalisation made within their businesses during the past couple of years.”
After gloomy ONS figures showing a rising trade in goods and services deficit from £2.7bn to £3bn, Mr Smith remained positive: “We are seeing this momentum continuing at a local level and as a result gross profit margins are holding up well.”
With rising confidence in the market, there has been a rise in investment and as a result the UK market is becoming stronger. “Whilst still a fiercely competitive marketplace along with pressure on certain raw material costs/rising utilities, business appears to be holding up,” said Smith.
Even after a drop in export volumes, UK exporters are still optimistic, especially as there is now some evidence of a rebound in demand for British products in America. Mark added: “Almost all businesses will also be welcoming a cooling commodities market, offering the promise of easing input prices and, hopefully, a respite from persistent above-target inflation and the spectre of upward pressure on wages.”
While investment in SMEs has been a prime concern among those in the manufacturing industry, these events are giving them a greater chance of attracting investment. “The UK Government has put trade firmly back on the agenda with new schemes from UK Trade & Investment,” said Smith.
He said that it’s confidence in exploiting new markets, while diversifying supply chains that will grow the UK’s international trade flows. He argues that these initiatives should help build this confidence in an ever more competitive global trade landscape.